Disclaimer: Drs Lowell Barker and Edwin S. Malone


The Abbey-Principality of San Luigi disclaims any relation with Dr Lowell Alan Barker, in ecclesia Archbishop Mikhail of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in the United States.

The activities of Dr Barker relating to the so-called “Chivalric Emporium of West Virginia” are described in an article at http://www.maineworldnewsservice.com/caltrap/chivalri.htm In the course of this article a listing is supplied of Orders which were made “available” through the Knightly Order of St George the Martyr, an organisation directed by Dr Barker. This listing includes the San Luigi Orders.

The sole legal and legitimate representation of the San Luigi Orders worldwide today is that maintained by the present-day Abbey-Principality under Prince-Abbot Edmond III.

For the purposes of clarification:

  • Dr Barker is not and has never been a member of the San Luigi Orders;
  • Dr Barker is not and has never been authorized to represent the San Luigi Orders, whether through the Knightly Association of St George the Martyr or otherwise;
  • Any appointment to the San Luigi Orders purportedly made by Dr Barker or others acting on his behalf is unauthorized, void and is not recognized by the Abbey-Principality of San Luigi.


A website associated with Dr Barker has been established at http://www.orderofthecrownofthorns.org/ since 2010. This purports to use the name of the Order of the Crown of Thorns, which we are told “was incorporated as an independent organization patterning itself after the ancient orders of knighthood of the Middle Ages” during the 1960s by one Dr Edwin S. Malone, III, who holds himself out to be its “Grand Master” and gives an address for contact in Arlington, Texas. Dr Barker is listed as “Grand Prelate Emeritus (Chaplain)”. Dr Malone is clear that his organization “does not claim any unbroken linage [sic] to the original Order, only takes its name and seeks to operate in its tradition.” By not claiming to be the authentic Order of the Crown of Thorns and acknowledging its recent origins, this association avoids some of the legal difficulties that would otherwise ensue, but nevertheless promotes needless confusion through its appropriation of a name and a history that is not rightfully its own.

Dr Malone’s association states falsely on its “About the Order” page that the Order of the Crown of Thorns “became dormant until the 1960s”. A brief glance at the Historical Documents page of the website of the Abbey-Principality will show that the Order was in fact continuously active from its dual foundation in 1883/1891 up until and indeed beyond the 1960s, and at no point became dormant. Indeed, the Order made a number of distinguished appointments to its ranks from the 1930s onwards under the Grand Mastership of Prince-Abbot Edmond I, and was highly active during these years. Moreover, the succession of the Grand Masters was clearly established in law throughout this period and was unambiguous in every respect. The notarized Declaration of 1954 of Prince-Abbot Edmond I sets out the rules whereby the succession to the Prince-Abbacy is codified; these rules provide that priority in succession is to be given to bishops of the Antiochian line and that election is the prerogative of Supreme Council where a successor has not been nominated by the incumbent. Dr Malone is not such a bishop and he has not been elected to office by the Supreme Council of the San Luigi Orders.

Considerable correspondence of Prince-Abbots Edmond I and Edmond II from the 1960s exists in the archives of the Abbey-Principality. Despite reference to two short-lived schisms from the Order during that period (neither of which were concerned with Dr Malone), this does not confirm any of the details alleged by Dr Malone’s association; nor do the details of membership of the period record the names of any who are listed as being associated with his group. The Order has not at any time appointed any person to the office of “Legat”. A search of the corporate records for the State of Texas finds no evidence that a corporation was established there in the 1960s bearing the name of the Order. The corporation established by Dr Malone has a filing date of 18 August 1997 according to the Secretary of State’s Office, at which point Prince-Abbot Edmond II was in the final months of his battle with terminal cancer.

The situation unravels still further when we read that “Dr. Malone has obtained the patronage of His Beatitude, Most blessed Diodorius [sic] I, Patriarch of Jerusalem” for his organization. If this refers to Patriarch Diodoros I of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, that prelate has been dead since 2000. Furthermore, in the course of the article concerning Dr Barker which is referenced above, we learn from the author that, “I also have in my files a 1989 letter from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate replying to a query from a Barker customer about the application and contribution he made through Mr. Barker to become a member of the Orthodox Knights of the Holy Sepulcher. The letter from the Patriarchate states that Mr. Lowell Barker is not known to it and that it never received such an application to join the order or money. The letter goes on to say that “His Beatitude Patriarch Diodoros who is the Great Master of the Order bestows it only to persons known for their devotion, contribution and assistance to the Mother Church of all Churches, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem”. It concludes with the expression of sorrow at the unfortunate experience with Mr. Barker for which it disclaims any responsibility.”

It is interesting in conclusion to note that the Seal of the Grand Master of the Order of the Crown of Thorns that is reproduced on Dr Malone’s website has been altered in certain particulars regarding the arms of the Abbey-Principality contained therein, doubtless again to avoid legal entanglements.

We must conclude by warning the public that this organization is not and does not claim to be the Order of the Crown of Thorns, but through the adoption of its name and the reproduction of its insignia is likely to create confusion with the legitimate Order. We recognize that this organization, which is registered as a non-profit concern, may undertake laudable work of a charitable nature, but such work could easily be undertaken without the need for the appropriation of false colours.